Thursday, November 08, 2018

South Africa Day 5

We checked out of our Cape Town Hotel at about 9am after a good buffet breakfast. Can you see ET in this photo?


We travelled east toward Stellenbosch. Some housing is not bad.


At least there is electricity, an opiate to the masses.



Mule, ass or donkey? Dunno.


Before we reached Stellenbosch we stopped at a winery for a tasting and a brief explanation of wine making. I have attended such explanations in Germany, Canada and South Australia yet still I know very little about wine making. Some wine is aged in wooden barrels and some in stainless steel vats. We were urged to go and have a look at the huge stainless steel vat. I turned to walk with the others and then had a moment of clear thought. What am I doing? I don't want to see any stainless steel vat. I stopped. What a rebel I am.



We bought a couple of bottles and then had a wander around the lovely gardens.





We finished up with a large lunch, sitting outdoors, delightful.


On to the university town of Stellenbosch. Nelson Mandela's last gaol before being set free is nearby. This is the town hall.


Nice parks and with many university students in the city, it had a good vibe.


Next stop was another winery and more wine tasting. We bought another bottle. Don't worry, they did not add to our baggage limit by the time we flew again.




This one had some goats, always amusing to watch.




We arrived at our destination for the evening, Hermanus. It is a lovely seaside town and very popular. I rather wish we had more time there. Our hotel was built as a TB sanatorium in about 1900 but had been modernised and added to over the years. There wasn't a lift and someone thought it was a good idea to put the two old blokes on the top floor. It had one quite grand staircase but the one to the top was modern and narrow. We paid porters a $1 each to carry our suitcases up and then down again the next morning. I was a bit annoyed as in advance of us even booking, I had emailed the tour company seeking and receiving assurance that all our accommodation would have air conditioning and this one did not and it is only the second place. As it was, it wasn't hot enough to need cooling. Our views were to the rear.



While there were great places to eat in the town, we had cautiously chosen the option to dine with a local family. We did not know what to expect. Would we be sitting at a formal heavy oak table in straight backed chairs, shirts buttoned to the neck and have to say grace before eating? No, it was a braai, barbeque to us. South Africans love their braais as much as they love their meat. They barbeque quite differently, it seems, using wood as fuel and lots of flame. We sat around outside for our entree while the meat was cooked and the bread was made. The bread did have yeast and after being cooked it felt heavy, but it wasn't. It was really quite nice. We trooped inside to the large dining tables and were served our meals, with more wine from their bar. It was a nice evening. The hosts were chatty and friendly. He can be seen in the centre of this photo with the 'can't live without her' black help cooking the bread. He was not unattractive and when I went to say thank you as he was clearing my plates away, he winked at me. Go figure. Perhaps he picked up my lust interest vibes. They had two daughters who were absent on the night. When they first started hosting the dinners, the younger one was very much into it but the older early teen one stayed in the lounge room watching tv for the first one or two, but she did come to enjoy meeting all the people and having fun too.



We had choices the next morning. Rise at 4.30 for shark cage diving? Rise at 5.30 for whale watching out at sea? Or, be breakfasted and ready to leave at 10.00. Yes, we chose the last and had a very leisurely breakfast and then a walk.




Whale tail. The whales seemed to like this place too and were hanging around and not migrating at full steam as they are supposed to.


A red eyed pigeon.




More dassie to watch. 

23 comments:

  1. I am so enjoying travelling with you. And love that you contribute to the economy with your wine purchases. And that your inner rebel rejected the stainless steel vat.
    The gardens were lovely too. Shark cage diving? Nope. Whale watching at sea? In a heart beat.

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    1. EC, I do need reminding of my contributions to local economies. While the whale watching would have been good, I am sure you understand we needed some down time.

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  2. The scenery looks stunning but where is your sense of adventure?Shark cage diving should have been #1 on your list.

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    1. Marie, why? I bet it wouldn't be top of your list either.

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  3. This seems like such a grand day, with the exception of the stairs and no air conditioning.
    I do so love all the wildlife. That does look like a donkey to me.
    I have little interest in how to make wine. I seem to excel at drinking it! Ha!
    The shots of the sea are wonderful. How amazingly beautiful they are. And the Dassie, yes I am smiling.
    I am so enjoying your trip, Andrew. Thank you for writing about it and including the beautiful pictures!

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    1. Mariebeth, is wine a bit like computers? We don't need to know the details of how it is made or how it works, we just want it to be a good experience. Thanks.

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  4. Interesting scenery and buildings.
    I would have chosen not to go to look at sharks or see the whales - just breakfast with time.

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    1. Margaret, a girl after my heart.

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  5. Love those BBQ flames :) singed hair anyone? I remember the days when most BBQs were like that, now everything is safely enclosed and runs on gas or electricity.
    You know I'm going to "steal" the ocean views and use them as bookmarks.

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    1. River, I too remember when barbeques needed great flames to cook the meat. More ocean pics to come.

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  6. The Stellenbosch winery gardens look beautiful.
    Time spent with a local family, that's an interesting way to see how the locals live.

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    1. Sami, it was really interesting to dine with the family. They both talked about the lives. I think he was born in Rhodesia. They have multiple projects underway. Pretty cool couple.

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  7. If I had my druthers, the best lunch in the world would consist of
    1. Eating outside
    2. In sunny weather
    3. In a white wine vineyard
    4. With friends.

    I think you struck gold :)

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    1. Hels, can I just add one more? A second glass of wine and a sun lounge to doze on after lunch.

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  8. The wine wouldn't make it home with us either!

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    1. Jackie, we did have to drink it fairly quickly as we had an internal flight with a lower luggage limit. We managed.

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  9. LOL! Who cares Adam if you still don't know anything about winemaking? The fun is that you keep trying. Thanks for more great pics! Hugs...RO

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    1. Thanks RO. I think I know that grapes are involved in winemaking.

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  10. You made me laugh with the wineries, I had the same when I went through Scotland there was Whisky stopping ! As I am not drinking alcohol and not interested at all in Whisky making, I stayed outside and saw that there was a painting exhibition from locals, that was more my cup of tea ! Anyway I always be a "rebel" but why should I watch things which are of no interest to me ?? I am not in a school class !
    Another thing was now on my trip that all Australians, and Americans were soooo unhappy when there was no airconditioning and we were soooo happy when there was none ! It was the first thing we turned off ! In Russia or Scandinavia where you have temperatures - 50°C asking for airconditioning ! The landscape seems beautiful, the houses a bit poor, and the last picture is an animal I have never seen in my life !

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    1. Gattina, if I ever get to Scotland, I will love the whisky tasting. Yes, we get to an age where we won't do what we don't want to do. It seems Australians and Americans have something more in common then, our love of air con.

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  11. You turned down shark cage diving for dassie watching and a sleep in? I made wine once from dandelions in my neighbors back yard. Three bottles of it, aged for three months. I gave one to Jack, the neighbor, who thought it was better than his nightly Millers Lite half case of beer. That coastline is beautiful! Your dinner out with locals looks like a redneck bonfire dinner party. And he looks a bit American redneck. Although it would be cheap beer in cans being passed around.

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    1. Strayer, the whale watching at sea would have tempted me more than the sharks, but we made a good choice for our mental health. It sounds like you have a talent for wine production. How about setting up a stihl and making some spirits too. You can become the village Old Ma Hooch.

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    2. That would be a great new career for me, Andrew. Thanks!

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.